Lenders seek advisers to restructure purchase debt of IMO Car Wash

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The Independent Online

Banks that lent £350m to Carlyle, the private equity giant, to buy the world’s biggest car wash firm have interviewed advisers to help restructure the debt.

FTI Consulting and Close Brothers are believed to be two of three restructuring experts to have pitched for the role last Friday. Carlyle, which is advised by NM Rothschild, asked lenders in October to restructure the debt on its £450m purchase of IMO Car Wash, which owns 900 car washes in 14 countries. IMO trades in 300 outlets in the UK as Arc Clean Car Centres.

The practice chosen will represent both senior and mezzanine debt holders. HSBC originally syndicated the debt to a series of banks including allied Irish and Deutsche.

The company had struggled in the past two years, said a source. “The business is weather dependent [car washes struggle in poor conditions, such as rain] and unfortunately it has not been the right weather for a while,” he said.